Earlier this year the Stanford Media Preservation Lab and Conservation Lab were tasked with figuring out how to playback severely warped paper based disc sound recordings. The recordings in question are from a three disc set titled Man-Talk by Three Great Western Stars and each one-sided disc in the set features a single monologue by John Wayne, Bill Elliott, or Johnny Mack Brown.
Blog topic: Sound recordings
Most of the community is aware of the planned development for Stanford’s Redwood City Campus. What few of you may be aware of is that four departments from the Stanford University Libraries (SUL) moved out to Redwood City three years ago. We have been working out of 425 Broadway which is one of the buildings slated for demolition. The development of the new campus necessitates SUL’s relocation from 425 across the street to 500 Broadway – the former home of AMPEX.
The four units moving are: Stanford University Press, Conservation Services, Stanford Media Preservation Lab, and Technical Services branch of Special Collections. SUL staff in these four units have been working for over a year with SUL’s Facilities Department on planning for this interim space. I say interim, because in another 2.5 years, we’ll be moving back onto the new campus.
The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound is pleased to announce the appointment of Frank Ferko to the position of Sound Archives Librarian. Recently, Frank served as the Metadata Creation Professional in Music and Media at UC Berkeley.
The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin Hurley as Project Archivist for the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection project. Erin will be processing this collection, creating the finding aid, and selecting materials for digitization to make this jazz collection accessible.
Medici.tv, available to Stanford community members, is the place to watch live-streamed music including the Verbier and Salzburg festivals, and the Cleveland International Piano Competition.
Among the highlights of the Verbier Festival (July 22 – August 7) are the opening concert with Kyung Wha Chung alongside Charles Dutoit; two opera nights with Kate Aldrich in Bizet’s Carmen and Bryn Terfel in Verdi’s Falstaff; pianists Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang, András Schiff, Behzod Abduraimov and the revelations from the last Tchaikovsky Competition George Li and Lukas Geniušas; and legendary conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas, Paavo Järvi, Emmanuel Krivine or Iván Fischer. Behind-the-scenes video will include rehearsals and artist interviews.
Open reel tapes, head blocks, and unconventional track arrangements at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab
Part of audio preservation work includes working with media that has peculiar characteristics. Sometimes the atypical qualities are a byproduct of how the recording was made by the recordist. An example of this type of problem that we occasionally see at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab is when an open reel tape is recorded over and there is remaining content hidden in certain spots of the tape. This presents specific problems in capture since tape heads are built for use with specific physical configurations of tracks and thus capturing the hidden spots outside of the normal range of track configuration is near impossible. With this in mind SMPL recently worked on obtaining equipment to address this challenging scenario.
To facilitate research, study, and access to the historical piano rolls in its collection, the Stanford Player Piano Project is designing and constructing a piano roll scanner capable of scanning all of the various types of piano and organ rolls that have been collected to date. This new scanner is based on the work of Anthony Robinson, who is working with the Project to expand upon and improve his earlier design. Monica Caravias, a graduate student at the Stanford Product Realization Lab, is designing and building Stanford’s scanner in close collaboration with Anthony and under the direction of Prof. Craig Milroy. This is the first in a series of reports on the progress of constructing the scanner.